On January 12, 2015, the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (“ENISA”) published a report on Privacy and Data Protection by Design – from policy to engineering (the “Report”). The “privacy by design” principle emphasizes the development of privacy protections at the early stages of the product or service development process, rather than at later stages. Although the principle has found its way into some proposed legislation (e.g., the proposed EU General Data Protection Regulation), its concrete implementation remains presently unclear. Hence, the Report aims to promote a discussion on how the principle can be implemented concretely and effectively with the help of engineering methods.
The Report provides an overview of the ways in which businesses have implemented the “privacy by design” principle into their products and services. To this end, the Report reviews existing approaches and strategies to implement privacy by design, and gives a structured overview of twelve important privacy techniques (such as authentication, attribute based credentials, encryption communications, anonymity and pseudonymity, etc.). Further, the Report presents the challenges and limitations of “by-design” principles for privacy and data protection.
The Report concludes with a number of recommendations that address system developers, service providers, data protection authorities (“DPAs”) and policy makers on how to overcome and mitigate these limits. The main recommendations include:
- Policymakers should support the development of new incentive mechanisms for privacy-friendly services and need to promote them (e.g., the establishment of audit schemes and seals to enable the customer to make informed choices and the establishment of penalties for those who do not care or obstruct privacy-friendly solutions);
- The research community should further investigate privacy engineering, especially with a multidisciplinary approach;
- Software developers and the research community should offer tools that enable the intuitive implementation of privacy properties. These tools should integrate freely available and maintained components with open interfaces and application programming interfaces;
- DPAs should play an important role in providing independent guidance and assessing modules and tools for privacy engineering, such as in the promotion of privacy-enhancing technologies and the implementation of the transparency principle;
- Legislators should promote privacy and data protection in their norms from the legal European data protection framework; and
- Standardization bodies should include privacy considerations in the standardization process as part of international standards, and should develop standards for the interoperability of privacy features in order to help users compare the privacy guarantees of different products and services and make compliance checks easier for DPAs.